Fastlane Pass

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 2:52 PM

What if there was a fastlane system in which you can get a ride on ride X for Y ammount of times in an hour. For example, you could ride Maverick 1 time every hour, Magnum 3 times per hour, or Corkscrew 6 times every hour. The ride ops would mark on a sheet of paper you had the time slot (say between 2 and 3 PM) and tally the number of rides, and when you reached your limit for that hour, you weren't able to use the system until the next hour (such as between 4 and 5 PM in my example.) I believe that it could be a potential alternative to fastlane, and would cut back on the abuse of the system so that there aren't fastlane people marathoning Valravn, causing the standby line to take much longer.

Also, a good example I can think of in other businesses to a fastlane system would be airlines and boarding groups and such.


CP Top 5: 1) Steel Vengeance 2) Maverick 3) Magnum 4) Raptor 5) Millennium

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 3:14 PM

Too complicated. A complex system requires more employees (thereby increasing overhead), and creates confusion. Confused guests get annoyed, and annoyed guests might not come back.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 3:28 PM

But, they already require one or two employees to run fastlane. Why not have them do the system? Plus, if it's explained, it shouldn't get confusing.


CP Top 5: 1) Steel Vengeance 2) Maverick 3) Magnum 4) Raptor 5) Millennium

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 3:33 PM
XS NightClub's avatar

jscll said:
Too complicated. A complex system.

Exactly.

And from the CP standpoint, it's not a broken system.


Sandusky Fan.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 3:44 PM
Jeff's avatar

noggin said:
Stand-by lines are less desirable to some because they have to wait longer to ride the ride.

You know what, I don't believe that this is entirely true. The wait time, not the desirable part. Forget for a moment the relatively small number of people who buy these passes and marathon some ride. They exist, but not enough to significantly alter wait times. If there was no FL pass, those people would presumably ride anyway, so the queue length doesn't change. The sequence of people riding changes, but if they were "in front" of you, it doesn't matter if they were in FL or standby.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 4:10 PM

Comparing Fast Lane to concerts or seats on a plane is just apples to oranges. One higher priced seat on a plane or to a sporting event gets you one flight or one concert, period....you don't take several flights in first class at the same time someone gets one flight in coach. You don't get to watch 5 different concerts in the front row while someone is watching only one concert in the nose bleed section.

Now, if you wanted to pay extra to wait in line to get front row on TTD, that is the same thing as paying for a first class seat on a plane. But just like on the plane, you would have to wait in line again to pay extra again for another front row ride on TTD....this is apples to apples.

Last edited by Zoug68, Wednesday, August 3, 2016 4:18 PM
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 4:14 PM
djDaemon's avatar

Jeff said:
You know what, I don't believe that this is entirely true. The wait time, not the desirable part.

Anecdotally, I've watched families of 4 or more sail through the FL queue 3-5 times on many occasions, on multiple rides. It makes sense, right? They're in the area, they want to ride that ride. They only need to wait a few minutes, so might as well get a few laps in.

Most recently, we jumped into a "short" Valravn standby queue with a ~30 minute wait. Not even counting the time we spent where we couldn't see the FL queue, we watched multiple families cycle through 3 times at least. I'd say in total about 17 people (though honestly that's a conservative estimate) cycled through multiple times; there were far more who were "one and done".

So, a group of 17 cycles through 3 times, for a total of 51 seats, which would have been only 17 had they too been in the standby line. So a net "loss" of 34 seats. Being generous, assuming they were hitting 90% of stated capacity, they were dispatching trains every 1.8 minutes on average. So, those 34 seats end up increasing our wait by almost 2 minutes. Based on the original waiting time of 30 minutes, that's almost 7%. That, to me at least, is significant, especially if you extrapolate that over an entire day of waiting in line. It's not "my day is ruined" significant, but to suggest that the impact is negligible is not correct in my opinion.

And I say all that as a huge fan of FL.


Brandon

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 4:19 PM
noggin's avatar

Jeff said:

noggin said:
Stand-by lines are less desirable to some because they have to wait longer to ride the ride.

You know what, I don't believe that this is entirely true.

I agree with you, which is why I went with "to some". I'm not one of the some. When I make my annual two hour visit to Six Flags Great America (thank you, free ACE tickets!), if a ride has a wait time of more than 20 minutes I pass. Whether I'm waiting behind stand by or FOTL folks doesn't matter.

Zoug68: I disagree. One wait in the Fast Lane line gets you one ride on the ride. You want another ride? You wait in the Fast Lane line again. A Fast Lane pass is buying you access to expedited access to the ride, not repeated consecutive rides on the ride.

Last edited by noggin, Wednesday, August 3, 2016 4:55 PM

I'm a Marxist, of the Groucho sort.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 4:20 PM
djDaemon's avatar

Zoug68 said:

Comparing Fast Lane to concerts or seats on a plane is just apples to oranges. One higher priced seat on a plane or to a sporting event gets you one flight or one concert, period....

Since you apparently have never flown anywhere, it's worth noting that higher-class tickets get you a hell of a lot more than the same flight as everyone else. Depending on the airline/seat/duration/etc., paying more gets you more food, more/free booze, more legroom, and allows you to board or de-plane before everyone else, among other niceties.

You don't get to watch 5 different concerts in the front row while someone only gets one concert in the nose bleed section.

But you do get to see Katy Perry up close and personal, at the expense of everyone else who has to stand further away, because you paid more to be close.

The problem is you're comparing number of events as if that's the universal way to measure value. It may be when talking about laps on amusement rides, but when it comes to concerts, it's proximity. When it comes to flights, it's comfort. And so on.


Brandon

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 5:02 PM

I'm in the group that visits the park twice a year if I'm lucky because I live 8+ hours away. I usually do Breakers and buy FL + on one of my visit days, just to make sure I get in plenty of rides. I don't marathon (I know others do) on the same ride. I try not to abuse it but if they're offering it, I'm going to take advantage of it because my visits are infrequent.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 5:41 PM

djDaemon said:

No, it's a perfectly valid comparison. Selling higher-priced seats does impact those who pay for the lower-priced seats. After all, if those higher-priced seats didn't exist, the cheaper seat would be closer to the action. Those willing to pay more for closer seats "cut in front of" those who can't or won't pay for closer seats.

So, yeah, someone isn't physically blocking your view by paying for a closer seat, but they are pushing you further back from the action. Just as someone paying for FL is making you wait longer.

Selling reserved seats at a venue is not the same as selling wait times at an amusement park. When you buy the cheaper seat, you know that you are buying the ability to sit in a certain spot and along with that location comes factors or limitations. Whether the front row or floor seats are completely full or empty doesn't matter because the seat that you paid for is fixed and that is reflected in the price. Someone who buys a concert ticket in the nose bleed section at an arena shouldn't have the expectation that they get to walk up and sit in the front row of show if there's an empty seat. Nor do they expect that they will be pushed back farther than where they are already sitting because someone walks up at the last minute and says, "hey, I just paid an extra $20 at the ticket window so I can sit closer than you. Move back a few rows." They get the level of service / experience that they paid for and expect and they all get it at the same time as a single event.

By contrast, people who wait in line for a roller coaster will all get to experience the ride in small groups at differing times and they get access to (mostly) the same 2 1/2 minute experience whether they have a fast lane pass or not. Someone who doesn't have a fastlane pass can end up sitting with someone who does and they get to enjoy same ride.

What's being sold as an up charge is not a fixed, more desirable seat on a train or even a better "up close" ride experience, but a decreased wait time. When people utilize that additional service it can negatively impact others by displacing them in the queue. It directly affects the expectation of service for someone who pays general admission because it changes the more that fastlane is used. At a concert your expectation of service doesn't change after you bought your ticket because you know exactly what you're getting and it doesn't matter how many higher priced tickets are sold.

The only way the concert scenario would be even remotely comparable were if tickets were all sold at the same price and seating was first come first serve, but you could pay an up charge to get into a separate line that would alternate entry along with the main line. Even then, why try to draw comparisons when we could just speak directly to the actual topic at hand? :)

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 8:03 PM

I was just at Zoombezi Bay (water park next to the Columbus Zoo) last Sunday. They have watches for FL passes.Anyway I was standing in a short line for a water ride. Looked like a 15 minutes wait. Took 51 minutes cause all the little rich kids cut right to the front of the line. It happened most of the day like this.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 8:50 PM
noggin's avatar

So you didn't pay for their version of Fast Lane passes and had to wait. You got what you paid for.


I'm a Marxist, of the Groucho sort.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 9:01 PM
noggin's avatar

jsmith7300 said:

Selling reserved seats at a venue is not the same as selling wait times at an amusement park. When you buy the cheaper seat, you know that you are buying the ability to sit in a certain spot and along with that location comes factors or limitations.

Okay, but... when you decline to buy a Fast Lane pass, you're choosing to buy a "cheaper seat".

What's being sold as an up charge is not a fixed, more desirable seat on a train or even a better "up close" ride experience, but a decreased wait time.

Exactly. That's what people who buy Fast Lane passes are buying; a decreased wait time.

When people utilize that additional service it can negatively impact others by displacing them in the queue.

Which they chose to "endure" because they didn't choose to buy the Fast Lane pass.

It directly affects the expectation of service for someone who pays general admission because it changes the more that fastlane is used. At a concert your expectation of service doesn't change after you bought your ticket because you know exactly what you're getting and it doesn't matter how many higher priced tickets are sold.

I disagree. If you choose not to buy a Fast Lane pass, you know exactly what you're getting: standing on line for rides. It doesn't matter to you how many Fast Lane tickets have been sold.


I'm a Marxist, of the Groucho sort.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:22 PM
Sollybeast's avatar

JSmith has a point. For it to be a true apples to apples comparison, seating would have to work like this- everyone starts out on the same playing field, but for every dozen or so premium tickets sold, the general ticketholders would have to move a row back. Enough people get premium seating and the general admission crowd would wind up with a really crappy view. And this is made even more complex by the fact that a FL/FL+ user can go indefinitely.

I can't afford FL/FL+, it's all I can do to get my little vacation to CP every year at all. Luckily I have 3 days and 2 nights to spread everything out so I'll get to ride everything I want at least once. I understand that I may have a moderate to long wait to the more popular things and that's fine. But it does get a little grating when the same people dash by several times in the time it takes me to ride once, and knowing that their cutting is contributing to my longer wait time.

It'd kind of be nice if there was an hour or so 'cooldown' time between FL uses for the same ride to prevent this, but then, I have no idea how you'd regulate something like that.


Proud 5th Liner and CP fan since 1986.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:44 PM

Sollybeast said:
It'd kind of be nice if there was an hour or so 'cooldown' time between FL uses for the same ride to prevent this, but then, I have no idea how you'd regulate something like that.

Would it help if they make the Fast Pass one use per ride? Which is doable since they scan the wristbands (supposedly) when they enter the Fast Pass queue.
Although I do like the idea of these guests paying a premium price and making rides such as Valravn possible.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:49 PM

So, I'll admit. I haven't been to the park in years...So here's my question....Do that many people really use Fastlane that it actually affects the wait time?


I'm too sexy for my harness!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 11:03 PM
XS NightClub's avatar

LunaD858 said:

Would it help if they make the Fast Pass one use per ride? Which is doable since they scan the wristbands (supposedly) when they enter the Fast Pass queue.

They Scan the wristbands at the Fastlane + coasters.

And it wouldn't help with Fastlane sales and since the park pushes Fastlane sales almost as much as souvenir cups that's never gonna happen.


Sandusky Fan.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 11:14 PM
Top_Thrill_Tyler's avatar

It doesn't seem like as many people are using Fast Lane as often as in 2012 or 2013. The price has gone from $50 in 2012 to averaging $120 and up to $150 for Fast Lane Plus this year - so I think the park is cutting demand somewhat by increasing the price. If the purported "target" group of guests were truly guests who can only visit one day or for a short time, then the price increase won't affect these guests as much if they are that interested in upgrading. They will pay whatever cost is necessary. And since less people are buying it, it improves the experience on both sides with less people in the Fast Lane queue. Plenty of people still play Plinko though, and often find other ways to get single-use Fast Lane vouchers, which are inevitably going to be used at Valravn since it's the big new attraction. I remember seeing TTD's Fast Lane queue almost full once or twice in 2012, now there's rarely a dozen people waiting.

Last edited by Top_Thrill_Tyler, Wednesday, August 3, 2016 11:16 PM

-Tyler A-

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016 11:21 PM
Black&White's avatar

Meh just seems like guests would get confused by the process, plus how would ride ops recognize you anyway. Depending on the rides popularity by the time you get on an off ride ops might have already had to deal with hundreds of other guests by then. Plus it just seems like it'd take more time than how the current system is set up.

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